Photography for the Blind

Sometimes the ideas that initially sound the most absurd are the most brilliant ones. Suppose for a moment that someone told you that they were going design a camera for blind people. Well, a design team at Samsung has done just that.

My first thought was “Why?” … My second thought was “ok, but…How?”
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Innovation Strikes Like Lightning

Courtesy Wikimedia

When the unexpected jumps out and smacks you in the face, it usually means, “Pay attention! A great innovation waits to be found.” So we just might look for a connection between Usain Bolt’s record-smashing 100-meter, gold-medal dash and the fact that he could be called a 200-meter specialist.
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New Conrete Clears the Air

In the Dutch province of Overijssel, a stretch of road has been paved with a surface of air-purifying concrete. Meant to fight pollution, the road consists of concrete paving stones spiked with a titanium dioxide-based additive. In sunlight, this additive should bind to nitrogen oxide particles spewed from car exhausts and converts them into friendly nitrates.

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Robot Skin

Robot Skin
Robot Skin

In less than a decade, robots and other electronic appliances may wear skin. Japanese researchers have developed a rubber-like material that stretches over surfaces and conducts electricity. That means the wearer can be made sensitive to temperature, moisture, and pressure.
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Look Ma, No Hands!

Students at the Drexel University have developed a game controller that uses only your mind to execute actions.

Designed for use with the Lazybrains game, sensors in the headband measure brain activity and let you perform such actions as lifting a manhole cover. You can’t proceed until enough “mental power” has been exerted.

Mind-Control Video Game Interface
Mind-Control Video Game Interface

AD BC vs. CE BCE

Lately, you might haved noticed a new way of distinguishing AD and BC dates. A so-called innovation now separates years before and after the zero mark with CE and BCE. Another one of those innovations for innovation’s sake. Or a good reason to call out, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
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Innovation for Innovation’s Sake

Innovation for innovation’s sake
Isn’t innovation and often a mistake

All of a sudden my cell phone stopped taking me directly to my voice mail messages. Now, instead of dialing in and entering my password, I have to enter another, two-digit code in order to hear my messages, along with another reminder that–guess what?–I’m about to hear my messages.
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The Sewer Lid Question

There are many reasonable answers to whey sewer lids are round, some more fitting than others. But all creative people begin formulating suggestions immediately, fluently, and with gusto.